Overcoming DepressionPosted: July 25, 2011
I’ve been in a bit of a funk as of late, my friends. I realized how bad it was getting a few days ago when the old man called from work to ask if I’d like to go out to shoot some 8-ball and drink some pitcher beer when he got home, and I told him I’d think about it. Think about it? I have to think about doing something I love that he only takes me out to do maybe twice a year! WTF? The worst part was I said no after he got home. I just didn’t feel like leaving the house. Didn’t feel like leaving it, but apparently don’t feel like cleaning it either, because it’s in complete disarray. It seems I have little motivation to do anything anymore.
At first I blamed my being listless and not eating on the current heatwave and the fact I’m cooped up inside. Now I’m beginning to think it’s more than that, and have to accept that I am once again battling this demon of mine called Depression. I know this because it has been my nemesis for many years now, and I’m all too familiar with its presence. The first sign is that I lose the desire to do anything…and I have. I would love to say that this time away from blogging has been spent pounding away on my keyboard working on my novel, or doing some cosmetic repairs to my home as I’d planned, but it hasn’t; I’ve literally been wiling away hours reading in bed, surfing the internet looking at rural, historic, New England properties, daydreaming of a life completely different than the one I’m forced to now live, and have only some floral drapes I altered to replace my closet doors to show for this lost time. There is no other explanation but that I’ve begun to fall into this dark cavity again. I hate to admit this. To do so means to accept that I’m currently stuck and am no longer moving forward.
I go through these periods occasionally. I suppose this is why I understand others that battle this illness all too well. Our minds can be so deceptive and unforgiving at times, can’t they? The tricky part is recognizing it when it first begins to happen, not letting the destructive thoughts get the best of you, and allow yourself time to work things out without self-judgment. I know none of us want to feel this way, contrary to what other ‘healthy’ people may think. The very worst thing we can hear is “Snap out of it!”, as if we choose to feel this way and can somehow just make the decision not to. These ‘seemingly’ innocent words can trigger tremendous guilt and find us no longer feeling responsible for trying to just fix ourselves and feel better, but now feel responsible for the way others feel as well. Like performers in a circus we feel compelled to please those around us by pretending to be happy, healthy, and whole when we’re not. This, at a time when we should be concentrating on dealing with our emotions so that we can feel that way.
Perhaps my biggest challenge is to refrain from over-correcting and placing unnecessary expectations on myself. I have a tendency to push myself to meet the tasks at hand, although I’m incapable of doing so when I go through one of my ‘spells’. I have to give myself permission to let the housework go, to be inactive on my blog, to not have to interact with others if I don’t wish. I need time to quiet the screaming words of doubt that are going on inside of me, and find stillness in solace.
I know this will pass. It always does. I’m sure menopause is a contributing factor, as well as being restless right now and desiring change though one doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. I have this gnawing need to better myself, to stop settling for less, to have more and live an abundant life, and these things are forcing me to reexamine my current situation and is making it difficult to just be Me anymore. I’m hoping that sometime in the future a happy compromise can be reached.
I wanted to share this with you to let you know that yes, even Pissy has moments of sadness, desperation, and doubt; she battles clinical depression. Medication is helpful, but can only go so far. Being a pain-in-the-ass and having iron skin is nothing more than a disguise that some of us wear to protect ourselves, but unfortunately we can’t always cloak ourselves in. There are those moments that we have to allow the other side of ourselves to show through. I suppose this is mine. I hope in doing so it might give others that may be going through something similar right now permission to also take care of themselves. To know that the only responsibility you have right now is to yourselves, and you’re not expected to appease others anymore than someone sick with cancer should be expected to make things easier on those around them. What you’re feeling…dealing with…is very real to you, and should be treated with respect. Know also that this too shall pass, it is not the end of the world, and you just have to give yourself the time and attention you need to get over the hump…so to speak.
So in closing let me just say in case you’re wondering, Pissy is fine and is just taking some time to think things through and fix herself. And all of you probably thought there was nothing going on upstairs! Fooled ya, didn’t I? Oh, and I wanted to update you on how Hound Dog is doing: He got through being snipped, the husband picked him up Saturday from the vet and he’s now home recuperating, but refuses to look either of us in the eye and only gets out of bed from beneath his covers to go potty and eat. Think he’s mad much? Ha..ha..
Love you all. Big hugs from me to you!